How five tech giants got their names
When the developers of “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web” needed to find a new, shorter company name, Jerry Yang and David Filo had already given themselves the titles of Chief Yahoos. In keeping with their many fun loving, albeit misguided business decisions, they decided to just shorten it to Yahoo. You might think if they had looked up the definition, they wouldn’t have chosen Yahoo for their new name. It turns out that they actually chose it in spite of its definition; “rude, uncouth, unsophisticated,” and according to Webster’s dictionary, is synonymous with “doofus, dimwit, and chucklehead.” As they say in the tech world today, only a real yahoo would choose that name!
When Stanford students Larry Page an d Sergey Brin created their new search engine, they originally called it BackRub. When this failed to catch on (Gee, why?) the pair wanted something related to the mathematical term googol, which is a very big number – a 1 followed by 100 zeros. There are several stories as to how it became spelled the way we all know and love. Some say they just plain misspelled it, others say when the co-founder of Sun Microsystems gave them $100,000 to start their little side business, he may have misspelled it on the check and they then were forced to use “Google” in order to use the money. Urban legends notwithstanding, Googol was taken and Google was not, so you be the judge. Thank goodness, because who wants to look something up by BackRubbing? Since 1995, the domain name of Google has been in use. Here’s a little factoid: The domain name of Google shows as belonging to a Mrs. Jello of Livingston, New Jersey. You know what to do to che ck that out….Google it.
As inappropriate as GoDaddy sounds for an online business, it is certainly better than Jomax Technologies. Founder Bob Parsons and his staff realized they needed a better name for their online domain naming site if they were going to be successful in the over-saturated online marketplace. After several attempts at brainstorming led nowhere, someone on their team, who was trying to be funny, came up with BigDaddy. Believe it or not, and fortunately for them, BigDaddy.com was already being used. After playing around with the name it turned out that GoDaddy.com was not taken.
For those that took Greek mythology in school, Asus should ring a bell. Even though the founders worked at Acer, which sort of sounds the same, they claim the name of their company is taken from the last four letters of the mythological winged horse, Pegasus. They say they chose Pegasus because he embodi ed everything they wanted to bring to the market with their new company; the creative spirit, purity, and strength seen in such a regal creature. Sound like a myth? In addition, it turns out there is a memory advantage to having a name at the beginning of the alphabet. Founder Jonney Shih wanted an “A” name, so other mythological characters at the end like, Zeus, were out.
We are all familiar with social networking sites that have cute names like Twitter, Facebook or the recently deserted MySpace. But how about Fark.com? If you ask the owner Drew Curtis, he will tell you that Fark is the fluff that news media outlets use to fill space when there is no actual news to report. Curtis says he started using the word fark in the early days if the internet. Again, local lore says that it may have been him substituting the word fark for a more colorful expletive. Or maybe one night while play ing drinking games and surfing the net, he simply made a typo. Whatever the case, he registered the name and it was one of the very few four letter words not being used. When he decided to devote a site to strange and weird stories, Fark was already his to use. A farking good idea, wouldn’t you say?
Dmitry Davydov works for PickyDomains.com, world's first risk-free naming agency. We can find a perfect domain for you or your business and you pay us only if you decide to use it.